Derry Colts Claim MUYL U-16 Cup

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Playing in their first final in the league, the Derry lads certainly had a score to settle as Lisnaskea had been the only team to beat them in the Under-16 League this season.

And the visitors started the game on the front foot, creating a glorious scoring chance inside the first two minutes that Lisnaskea goalkeeper, Courtney, did well to save.

But it was all Derry during the opening stages and they grabbed the early breakthrough their sustained pressure and good passing deserved when, in the eighth minute, Tomas McCrossan raced onto an incisive through ball from Adam Molyneux to get in behind Elliott, in the Lisnaskea defence, and calmly slot the ball past the helpless Courtney to put Derry Colts into the driving seat.

Indeed, it was was all one-way traffic as the skilful ‘Candy Stripes’ continued to create chances for McCrossan and fellow front man, Stephen Tabbitt, without the reward of a further score.

The Derry central midfield pairing of Eoin McKeever and Dylan Casey, with help of wide men Adam Molyneux and Frankie McConnologue, continued to exert pressure refused to allow the Co. Fermanagh side’s Logan and Williamson get into the game.

In the 25th minute, Derry got another break when McKeever was fouled inside the danger area and the referee immediately pointed to the spot.

Colts’ captain, Caolan Fullerton, confidently strode forward from his central defensive berth, to slam the ball home left-footed to deservedly double his side’s advantage.

To their credit, Lisnaskea tried hard to get back into the game before half-time and it took good work from defenders Robbie Brown, Niall Logue, Sean Mc Gilloway and Fullerton, plus the assistance of keeper, Conor Brady, to keep out Mullaney and, in particular, Durnien quiet for Lisnaskea.

Derry started the second-half as they had the first and straight from the kick-off the alert McCrossan found Molyneux who skilfully weaved his way past four defenders only to see his shot from the edge of the box crash against the upright before rebounding to safety.

But Derry were not to be denied when, minutes later, Molyneux again turned provider, this time for Tabbitt who out-muscled defender, Campbell, before thumping the ball into the net to put his side out of sight.

In fact, Derry should have added to their tally but some poor finishing and last ditch defending kept the score down.

If the truth be told, the 3-0 defeat actually flattered Lisnaskea and the Derry lads deserved the scenes of celebration after the final whistle.

The Colts now travel to Lurgan tomorrow (Saturday) to face Warrenpoint in the final league game of the season and a victory will see the “Candy Stripes” pip Newry City, who they currently lead by two points, going into the final round of fixtures.